More Lessons From Saul’s Conversion

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ACTS 9:19-31

19 and he took food and was strengthened.

Saul Begins to Preach Christ

Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus,20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, [a]saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, “Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” 22 But Saul kept increasing in strength and confounding the Jews who lived at Damascus by proving that this Jesus is the [b]Christ.

23 When many days had elapsed, the Jews plotted together to do away with him, 24 but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the gates day and night so that they might put him to death;25 but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a large basket.

26 When he came to Jerusalem, he was trying to associate with the disciples; [c]but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had talked to him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he was with them, [d]moving about freely in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 And he was talking and arguing with the [e]Hellenistic Jews; but they were attempting to put him to death. 30 But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

31 So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria [f]enjoyed peace, being built up; and going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.


Discussion Questions

March 10th ,2019

1. In verses 19-23 we see that Saul (soon to be called Paul) began to "proclaim Jesus" (verse 20) and "increasing in strength" and "proving that this Jesus is the Christ" (verse 22). HOW SOON AFTER YOUR CONVERSION DID YOU SPEAK ABOUT JESUS? HOW DID YOU "INCREASE IN STRENGTH" SPIRITUALLY? WHAT IS REASONABLE TO EXPECT FROM NEW BELIEVERS IN TERMS OF THEIR WITNESS TO NEW LIFE IN CHRIST? See verse 18b; also, the experiences of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:34-38 and the Philippian jailer in Acts 31-34.

2. In verses 26-27 we see that once Saul arrived in Jerusalem he was met with fear from the disciples who didn't believe he was now a changed man (a disciple of Jesus), and a man named Barnabas advocated for him (represented him positively) to the apostles. WHO HAS BEEN A "BARNABAS" IN YOU SPIRITUAL LIFE, HELPING YOU FIND FELLOWSHIP AND ACCEPTANCE AMONG OTHER CHRISTIANS? WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Compare Acts 15:36-41 with II Timothy 4:11. Also see Romans 14:1 - 15:13.

3. Verse 31 describes the early Church as continuing to "increase" as they were "going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit." HOW ARE THESE TWO FACTORS, THE FEAR OF THE LORD AND THE COMFORT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTIVE IN OUR CHURCH AT LAUREL TODAY? WHAT EVIDENCE FOR EACH DO YOU SEE IN OUR CHURCH? COMPARE THIS SIMPLE STATEMENT OF THESE TWO FACTORS IN VERSE 31 WITH TODAY'S "CHURCH GROWTH" TECHNIQUES